The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture
An Evaluation of its Implementation in OECD Countries
The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) was a turning point in the reform
of the agricultural trade system. It imposed disciplines on trade-distorting domestic
policies and established new rules in the areas of market access and export competition.
How effective have the three disciplines contained in the URAA been in bringing about
a reduction in the level of production-related support and protection? Which elements
of the disciplines have proved effective and which ineffective? What policy lessons
can be drawn from the experience so far? What might be inferred about opportunities
and challenges for further trade liberalisation? This report provides some answers
to these questions for all OECD countries.
A key conclusion of the report is that the immediate quantitative effects of the URAA
on trade and protection levels have been modest. The reasons for this include the
weakness of many specific features of the URAA including implementation and methodological
Countries have already embarked on a new round of multilateral trade negotiations
on agriculture. The challenge facing policy makers is to build upon the foundation
of the URAA to further reduce trade distortions. This requires strengthening the disciplines
already established under the URAA and addressing those weaknesses of the current
agreement which have been identified in this study.
Published on May 03, 2001Also available in: French